Liam Connor Norwell
December 27, 1991, Bournemouth, Dorset
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Liam Norwell bowled his way onto England Lions' tour of Australia in 2021-22 after spearheading Warwickshire's charge to the County Championship in the English summer with 49 wickets at 18.26. He had suffered regular injuries across the previous three years but managed to complete a full red-ball season and impressed the selectors with his bustling fast-medium seam bowling.
He had joined the club from Gloucestershire at the end of the 2018 season, along with his fellow seamer Craig Miles, citing a desire to test himself on faster pitches than those he was used to at Bristol. His first two years at Edgbaston were marred by injury, but he worked hard with Graeme Welch, the club's bowling coach, and suggested that he had put on "half a yard of pace… maybe even more than that."
Raised in Cornwall and an academy product at Gloucestershire, Norwell burst onto the scene in April 2011, taking 6 for 46 on debut against Derbyshire. A stress fracture of the back quickly halted the start to his career, leading him to be drip-fed into the Gloucestershire first XI, but his strong, thick-set frame demonstrated potential hat he began to deliver with 61 Championship wickets in 2015.
He topped Gloucestershire's bowling averages the following season, but his most exciting moment came when, as a regular No. 11 pressed into nightwatchman duties, he made an unlikely maiden first-class century against Derbyshire in Bristol - it was his first century in any form of cricket. His career first-class average until then had barely been in double figures. He expressed surprise afterwards that Derbyshire had bowled persistently short at him.
After his excellent first-class debut, Norwell played two more games before injury prevented his return until 2012; that season he took an admirable 22 wickets at 28.72. The following year he again suffered with injuries and his season was limited to just seven appearances for the first XI.
2014 saw Norwell's finest moment at that point in a Gloucestershire shirt, again unsurprisingly with the bat. He made 78 against Worcestershire at Cheltenham in July 2014 - the highest score by a No. 11 for the county - and shared a stand of 137 with Craig Miles for the 10th wicket - also a county record. His batting was a case of occasional plenty interrupting long periods of drought.
A return of 59 wickets at 17.39 in 2017 was comfortably his finest Championship season. He terrorised Leicestershire with two ten-in-the-match hauls at start of season and end, his 8 for 43 in September representing the best return of his career. Having played some limited-overs cricket early in his career, Norwell increasingly became a red-ball specialist.
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